March 6, 2019
I was presented this quote, “It is of far greater importance that we have better Christians than that we have more of them.” – A.W. Tozer
Do you agree with Tozer’s statement?
I’ve said it before that we have degraded the term of “Christian,” we have made it such a huge category that so many people fit in to said category. The first time that “Christian” was used in Scripture was in Acts. And when he(Barnabas) found him(Saul), he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. Acts 11:26
The disciples, all the people who have been sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, those are the ones that were called “Christians.” Jesus says, “whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show Myself to them.” John 14:21 That is exactly what the disciples were doing… they were keeping Jesus’ last command that He gave before ascending to Heaven. …and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
If Jesus was strictly interested in numbers and growing His crowd, then we could definitely argue that He may not have had the proper tactic in doing so… but that wasn’t what Jesus was trying to do.
Numerous times Jesus laid out the expectations to the people who were following Him. He also seemed to do so when the crowd got too large. Usually people were following Him for healing, to see miracles, or to get fed, and then He lays down the hard stuff… He tells them to truly search themselves to make sure they have what it takes to be My follower. (See Matthew 8:14-22 and Luke 14:25-28)
Paul’s methods could also be argued that his approach was a little skewed. Again, numerous times Paul tells us what to do within the church, so people who are “Christians.” Paul tells us to not even associate with anyone who claims to be a “Christian” and doesn’t act as such… to “expel the wicked person from among you.” Paul then goes on in another letter saying, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. (See 1 Corinthians 5:11-13 and 2 Thessalonians 3:6)
I’d undoubtedly say yes, that it is far more important that we have better Christians than having more of them. If we allow God to work in the people that truly want to be closer to God, then I have no doubt that God can use those said people to reach more people in the world. But again… we have to be willing and obedient to Jesus’ commands, especially His last one… and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”